The Only Way Is Up!

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2012

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What I did
Machu Picchu Urubamba
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Huana Picchu

Flag of Peru  , Cusco,
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Enough with the early starts already. Its been raining all night, the cloud is down and it isn't looking promising we’ll see much of Machu Picchu.  But there isn’t much that can dampen my spirit this morning!  We’re jumping on the bus for a 1 hour ride up to Machu Picchu!  Yeyah!!

The bus is full of expectant people and as we ascend the cloud begins to clear.  More ticket and passport checks and we’re into the site.  The first steps of the day take us higher and onto the low terraces of Machu Picchu.   The site is in marvellous condition and very well looked after, but we don’t have long.  An enforced route march ensues to get us to the bottom of Huanupicchu and another passport check to allow us to make the climb.  We were asked to sign onto the mountain by officials... that should have been a hint to what was to come...  (Note:  Huanapicchu is the mountain in the background of the classic Machu Picchu picture – a cone like mountain.)

The cloud still down the challenge of Huanapicchu was obscured, so in naivety we set off.  Within 20 minutes of climbing steps, it was getting so steep that you had to use your hands as well to ease the climb.  Another 20 minutes and we were rising up out of the jungle canopy onto the first of the Huanapicchu terraces.  There’s nothing quite like tiredness, a little altitude sickness and the realisation that what you just climbed was near vertical to get a vertigo sufferers heart hammering.  I sat down for a while and didn’t look at the view.  I’m told it was very nice!!

Fear and a constant stream of people behind me on this near single person track pushed me further up the mountain.  It became clear that the Inca’s decided to perch a second smaller village right on the top of Huanapicchu, regardless of how little space there was.  But that’s the joy of terracing, it seems to create space even when there isn’t any!

Weirdly there was a cave right up on top, which we had to scramble through.  It was the safest place I felt for about 5 hours!!

The top achieved (apparently, I couldn’t look...), Liz announced we were going to go see the Gran Caverna, which was some way-away and meant we would be dropping down off the mountain a little, hopefully back in less vertically challenging terrain.

- JJ
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P on

Thought you left Golom in the firey pit on the Mount of Doom in NZ. What a suprise to find him on Machu Picchu with his Precccious.

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